The Spanish are reputed to be amongst Europe's most voluble people. So why have they kept silent about the terrors of the Spanish Civil War and the rule of. So why have they kept silent about the terrors of the Spanish Civil War and the of Spain. Travels Through a Country's Hidden Past. by Giles Tremlett. ebook. Editorial Reviews. Review. "[Tremlett] paints a rich, multicolored canvas of one of Europe's most fascinating nations."—Entertainment Weekly. "This well traveled.
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In elegant and passionate prose, Tremlett unveils the tinderbox of disagreements that mark the country today. Ghosts of Spain is a revelatory. Spaniards are reputed to be amongst Europe's most voluble people. So why have they kept silent about the terrors of the Spanish Civil War and the rule of. To ask other readers questions about Ghosts of Spain, please sign up. Be the first to ask a question Shelves: ebooks, history, library_books. I decided to bail.
Every time I go to Spain I am more intrigued and curious about its recent past. This book, by the Madrid correspondent of the Guardian, gives a journalistic overview of a vast range of topics. If you already knew a lot about Spain, you'd probably find it irritatingly superficial.
But when you don't, it's interesting and diverting, opening up all sorts of avenues for f An impulse download in the FNAC in Barcelona, galloped through in a couple of days, this was a good book for me to read at this point.
But when you don't, it's interesting and diverting, opening up all sorts of avenues for further exploration or reflection, and providing some background to help you when reading Spanish newspapers.
Some of the digressions are pretty odd and sound like recycled newspaper articles -- what on earth is the piece about Spanish funeral parlours doing in a chapter ostensibly about women's rights? Why is his piece about brothels so trivial and superficial? But all in all, it's a good introduction to lots of topics, and I really enjoyed reading it.
Read this in preparation for an upcoming trip to Spain. Each chapter in the book covers a different aspect of Spanish culture, starting with the recent re-examination by Spaniards of the s killed after Franco came to power, to later chapters dealing with the royal family, sex and feminism, parenthood, the Basques, ETA, the Madrid bombing etc.
The book covers similar territory to The New Spaniards , but I found the writing much more engaging. It is written by a British jour 10th book for The book, written in , is now getting a little dated, but still worth a read for those who want an insight into contemporary Spanish society. After decades of silence about it, witnesses and descendants alike are now asserting the right to examine its history.
Mass graves have been exhumed; archives are being explored; witness statements are being made. All this takes place in a country where the emphasis has been resolute about looking forwards not backwards and where there are ongoing separatist movements. To read the rest of my review, please visit http: View all 10 comments. Feb 21, Prina Patel rated it did not like it. Couldn't even finish it This book has taught me a lot and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, Giles writes extremely well and I wish I was living back in Spain where I spent a year after university.
I am a Spanish teacher and was given an assignment to complete in which I had to identify a point of weakness in my subject knowledge and exploit it. I chose the The Civil War and figured this book, which has been on my wish-list for a while, would be a nice introduction to it. My bisabuelo fled to England sometime during The C This book has taught me a lot and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, Giles writes extremely well and I wish I was living back in Spain where I spent a year after university.
My bisabuelo fled to England sometime during The Civil War to seek political exile, he was Catalan and was housed in London where he met mi bisabuela, several generations later and here I am.
I was amazed towards the end of the book where Giles mentioned the opportunity to seek Spanish citizenship by virtue of being a descendent of a Spaniard who sought political exile. I put the book down and went straight to Google.
Muy a mi pesar, I discovered that I was not entitled to the citizenship as a it was only if they were your grandfather, not your great-grandfather and b they stopped applications in It was a long shot to begin with, I can at least now retrace some family history with some degree of accuracy thanks to this book. Unfortunately I don't know of any relatives still remaining in Spain The little stories and people from los pueblos made the reading even more enjoyable, the history of flamenco y los gitanos was great.
I learnt some very specific vocabulary I wouldn't dare teach my secondary school students, I can barely grasp it myself, namely duende and retranca. This book will stay in my shelf and I will probably read it again, moving forward I have just bought Orwell's Homage to Catalonia which I hope will help me envisage more the political landscape during the war.
Nice one Giles! View all 7 comments. Jun 03, Kunle added it. If you have ever wondered why the Spanish civil war rarely get's scrutinized to the same extent as others, then this book explains it by examining Spanish society from the recent past to the present; the Franco years to the explosion of repressed social and cultural development after his death that affected everything in the country, from its central government to the emergence of terrorist group ETA.
Tremlett talks about the establishment of a left - right compromise not look to closely at the b If you have ever wondered why the Spanish civil war rarely get's scrutinized to the same extent as others, then this book explains it by examining Spanish society from the recent past to the present; the Franco years to the explosion of repressed social and cultural development after his death that affected everything in the country, from its central government to the emergence of terrorist group ETA.
Tremlett talks about the establishment of a left - right compromise not look to closely at the back-story. While enemies, families, friends and neighbours literally, set aside their differences and murderous political rivalries in order not to bring up the past Until now that is! The answer as to why lies in science and DNA tests. Tremlett does just look at Spanish modern history he also takes us through his own journey in understanding the language, culture and politics.
The book is filled with fascinating golden nuggets of info such as Spain's disturbing record of having more portraits of Hitler in private homes than anywhere else in the world and the fact that it's peculiar brand of Fascism still remains influential in Europe, including within major organizations such as the International Olympic Committee.
No wonder they're always keen to keep politics out of sport! If you love modern Spain and want to get under the skin of this country, then this is a good place to start. I finished the book in several takes, first two being botched by these unfortunate chapters. I persevered and was ultimately rewarded with excellent insights which on 4. I persevered and was ultimately rewarded with excellent insights which only keen eye of a totally submersed observer could detect and relay to reader.
Galicia and Catalonia chapters are really good too. It is a good example of being rewarded for the effort of reading: Dec 19, Adrian Fingleton rated it it was amazing. I very much enjoyed this book. Written by an English journalist and a longtime dweller in Spain, it does offer a very good insight into the Spanish way of thinking and how many events in the 20th and 21st century have shaped that. Obviously the bitter, brutal Civil war of the s hangs over much of the way Spanish people react and the divisions are still deep.
The book is dense - it's not one you can skim through. But each chapter deals with another aspect of Spain or, in many cases, how a par I very much enjoyed this book. But each chapter deals with another aspect of Spain or, in many cases, how a particular region views the idea of a Spanish nation. Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque country all get this treatment. But it's not all heavy going. The author also touches on Spain's attitudes to Flamenco, Sex, Football and more.
I cant vouch for it's accuracy but it certainly appears that the author has 'gotten under the skin of Spain' and is offering the reader some very interesting insights into one of Europe's largest countries. Definitely worth a read. Anyone interested in modern Spain. The first few chapters are a little slow but this is a comprehensive look at Spain and it's people and the history that shaped who they are today.
My personal views after living here in Spain for nine months sometimes contradict Mr. Trimlets views i. Also - his declaration that the Spaniards are strict rule followers is a joke which you would not find funny had you ever had to stand in a line with twenty Spaniards who do not think the rules apply to them and cut in front of you at every opportunity.
BUT his discussion of the Civil War and it's impact on Spaniards today is very interesting as is the chapter on Flamenco music.
It's informative but maybe a little off on a detail or two. Jul 02, Dan rated it it was ok. This book couldn't decide if it wanted to be a history book, sociology report, memoir or political recap. I understand that all of these need to be taken into account when writing a book on how Spain has ended up where it is, but I felt like the author rarely managed to find the right balance.
I decided to bail partway through, as I was honestly forcing myself to go on, finding the book dry. Dec 04, Lotte rated it really liked it.
Good introduction to Spain and it psyche. A pleasant, easy read and recommended to anyone who wants a first x-ray of this marvelous country. It gives you 'ganas' to go discover the country for yourself. The author shares anecdotes from his own life - at times very recognizable for anyone who has lived in Spain - and interesting historic background of certain cultural and political phenomenons.
The first chapters about the Civil War are very insightful. The book also contains plenty of references Good introduction to Spain and it psyche. The book also contains plenty of references to other books, writers, movies and documentaries.
Keep a list while reading! I really enjoyed this book. So Giles Tremlett did well to keep me interested. Very occasionally I would have like a bit of editorial control to have been exercised to avoid the repetitions, but overall that is a minor cavil. I found it informative, entertaining and at times laugh out loud and I also found out a lot more about my favorite country. Jul 30, Rod Innis rated it liked it.
There are a lot of interesting things about Spain and its history in this book. It does at times seem to dwell a bit more on the obscene than I would have liked but it is probably quite accurate in its descriptions.
I visited Spain mostly Barcelona years ago and have often wanted to go back. That desire has been enhanced by this book. Part of my MA dissertation concerns Basque and Catalan nationalism, so I only read this to refresh myself with an overall feel for the country as a whole before delving into the regional histories. What I found was good: We even got a chapter on Galicia too, so hats off to Giles for that.
As for the rest of the book: I can see how this flitting around can be quite endearing, but in the end you might be stuck with whole chapters on very niche subject matter that may not interest you at all. Case in point - the chapter toward the end on Spanish film, which seemed to me to be an awful lot like filler.
Some chapters, particularly the ones on flamenco and the sex industry, are written like long-form investigative journalism articles. There was no engagement with the sex workers themselves, and what followed was a bland description of a semi-legal business model. So in all, this book was just OK.
I took a few tidbits away, and what more can you really want. But as another reviewer on here observed, it all too often seems like Tremlett has just recycled articles from his time as a Madrid correspondent. Three thumbs up. Jul 06, Steve rated it really liked it. How did Spain become a 'normal' country in Western Europe? In it was isolated along with Portugal , a decaying fascist state.
Yet, somehow, within Spain there existed enough independent life and thought that after Franco's death, the country quickly and relatively painlessly one nearly tragic but ultimately comic coup attempt aside became part of Western Europe. The author provides vivid details on small matters of life, especially the distinctions not just Basque and Catalan that make How did Spain become a 'normal' country in Western Europe?
The author provides vivid details on small matters of life, especially the distinctions not just Basque and Catalan that makes Spain a mixture of regions and local cultures.
He also, more importantly, presents a country where the past still lives in the present, and where only the passage of time will perhaps lessen the dark hand of the past. The Spanish Civil War was less than four decades in the past at the time of the political transition, and the compromises necessary for normalcy echo the dilemmas of other countries seeking to live with nightmares that still echo in the memories of the victors and victims.
I've lived in Spain for 5 years now. I found this book highly enjoyable, mainly because Tremlett is very well informed about the country -- this is by no means an outsider's take on Spain, but rather a person who is obviously well immersed in the language and culture of Spain. I found myself marveling at his observations about the idiosyncrasies of Spanish culture, mainly because I've had those same observations over the years.
But what makes the book great is his ability to weave a lot of histo I've lived in Spain for 5 years now. But what makes the book great is his ability to weave a lot of historical and political information into his personal travels.
As the Madrid correspondent for the Guardian newspaper, Tremlett has reported on the nation's politics among other things and has talked to many people. I found the book very informative, even as someone who has lived in Madrid for 5 years and follows the news. It's definitely a great read if you're planning on going to Spain or even if you're an ex-pat and want to know more about the country you live in. Tremlett puts this pact in context by explaining how Spanish history is riddled with division, religious, political, geographical.
Why do the football supporters of Real Madrid and Barcelona hate each other quite so much? Why, it is rumoured, there are no signs to Barcelona from the Madrid ring road [I think this is more of a legend these days! Did the Islamist Madrid bombers hope to return Spain to its Moorish roots? This is an easy book to read on a difficult subject. After this, I would read anything Tremlett writes about Spain.
This feels like an Iberian equivalent to Tobias Jones' The Dark Heart of Italy; a British journalist describes the often traumatic events of a country's recent history in this case the Civil War and Franco's reign and then goes on a bit of a road trip, analysing regional differences, cultural quirks and the national psyche.
There are chapters on the development of the Costa del Sol, flamenco, Pedro Almodovar, and the Basque country. Like Jones, Tremlett doesn't shy away from the horrors of the This feels like an Iberian equivalent to Tobias Jones' The Dark Heart of Italy; a British journalist describes the often traumatic events of a country's recent history in this case the Civil War and Franco's reign and then goes on a bit of a road trip, analysing regional differences, cultural quirks and the national psyche.
Like Jones, Tremlett doesn't shy away from the horrors of the recent past, but it's balanced by his obvious affection for the country in spite of any flaws he perceives. I knew practically nothing about Spanish history before reading this, and it's dense and fact-filled but also very readable. Sep 27, Amanda McGough rated it really liked it. This book is chock full of history taken from interviews with first hand accounts people. I was expecting the book to be a bit more objective given the fact that the author is a journalist but I found that there was still quite a bit of opinion sneaked into the sentences.
It is definitely about his journey to find out the truth about many important facets of Spanish culture and history. Feb 24, Brad Dunn rated it really liked it. A remarkable book. It follows several rarely told tales of Spain. The ETA. Do Spaniards respect people in doctors coats? Are they clean? Was Franco really that bad? This book is perfect for someone who knows nothing of Spain, or equally, who thinks they know it all. Dec 10, Whitaker rated it really liked it.
A really great book shows us how everything is great and worth to die for. Readers also enjoyed.
About Giles Tremlett. Giles Tremlett. He has lived in, and written about, Spain for the past twenty years. Books by Giles Tremlett. Trivia About Ghosts of Spain: No trivia or quizzes yet. Quotes from Ghosts of Spain: Successfully reported this slideshow.
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